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Andy Sullivan: Against the Grain

Today I Learned

The title of this week’s column is a takeoff of a segment from The Late Late Show with James Corden called Tonight I Learned.  I’ve got some random facts that some might’ve already known; some you might be learning for the first time.  Even still there are some you might’ve forgotten.  Let’s begin!

It took a new Tim McGraw song for me to learn this first piece of information.  I was listening to 92.5 WBKR one day on a short road trip and they played Tim’s new song called “7500 OBO”.  I thought, and probably even said aloud, what the heck does OBO mean”? I posted the question on Twitter but also googled it.  I was quickly informed that “OBO” means “or best offer”.  The more you know.

This next little tidbit comes from the SiriusXM station 60’s Gold.  Did you know there are no squirrels in New Zealand? It’s true.  I even googled it to make sure it was legit.  Another tidbit I picked up from 60’s Gold: In 1964, Indiana governor Matthew Walsh banned the Kingsmen song “Louie Louie”, citing that it was pornographic in nature. 

Does anyone know what song was Motown Records’ first #1 single? According to , on May 16, 1964, the Motown Record label celebrated its first #1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 with Mary Wells’ “My Guy”, a song written and produced by Smokey Robinson.  Speaking of Smokey, if anyone out there missed the 2022 Stagecoach Music Festival on YouTube, Smokey performed and was excellent. 

Did you know that Barry Manilow made a fortune in jingle writing? He wrote the State Farm jingle “Like a Good Neighbor, State Farm is there”! He wrote the jingle in 1971.  A cover was released by Alternative Rock band Weezer in 2011.  That was not the only jingle he wrote, however.  He wrote “You deserve a break today” for Kit Kat and “I’m Stuck on Band-Aid ‘cause Band-Aid’s stuck on me”.  Barry Manilow’s “I am stuck on Band-Aid was written in the 1970’s.  Before John Travolta was singing “Greased Lightning”, he was singing the Band Aid tune in the shower for a television commercial in 1973.  (

This last one I came across on the treadmill.  I was searching through my Spotify playlists for something to listen to while running when I came across Spotify’s Miami Vice 1984-1990 playlist.  I was blown away when I heard this cover.  Dolly Parton covered Jerry Lee Lewis’ “Great Balls of Fire”! To say I was shocked is an understatement! Obviously I texted a few big Dolly fans in my contacts, sent a screenshot and said “check this out”! They were as surprised as I was.

That brings Today I Learned to a close.  I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed learning and typing it. 


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